Review | Unfrosted | 2024

UNFROSTED. (L to R) Jerry Seinfeld (Director) as Bob Cabana, Jim Gaffigan as Edsel Kellogg III and Melissa McCarthy as Donna Stankowski in Unfrosted. Cr. John P. Johnson/Netflix © 2024.

While I don't think Jerry Seinfeld's Unfrosted is the kind of once-in-a-generation stinker it's being made out to be, it's still the kind of bad film that is so inoffensively bland that it doesn't even have the temerity to stick around in the mind as a memorable disaster.

On the surface, Unfrosted appears to be a parody of product origin films like Blackberry or Air that tell the story of how an iconic product came to be. But the fact that, according to Seinfeld, this thing has been in the works for over two years seems to scuttle the idea the film is a parody of any recent trends. Instead, it's a goofy, wholly imagined origin story of the Pop Tart, conjuring up an alternative past in which Kellogg's and Post are in a brutal fight for dominance of the US breakfast market. Both specializing in cereals, the two grain giants seek to find a new, portable breakfast option that will revolutionize breakfast for an on-the-go culture.

Unfrosted portrays this battle in increasingly ludicrous terms, framing the invention of the Pop-Tart as an impossible task that required space-age technology to perfect.  This leads Seinfeld's Kellogg's executive, Bob Cabana, to try and recruit the top minds in their fields to workshop a new breakfast treat that will beat Post and keep them on top of the breakfast game. What he ends up with instead, however, is a ragtag bunch of has-beens who somehow some up with the revolutionary pastry despite interference from the conniving Post CEO Marjorie (Amy Schumer) and a disgruntled brigade of cereal mascots led by Thurl Ravenscroft (Hugh Grant).

There's a lot going on here, none of it good. That's really the biggest issue with Unfrosted  - Seinfeld is clearly throwing everything AND the kitchen sink at this thing to see what hits, and nothing really lands. It's just a constant barrage of half-cooked jokes and barely thought-out bits that lead nowhere, culminating in a scene spoofing the January 6th riots led by Tony the Tiger as the "Q-anon shaman." It's busy, overstuffed, and just not very funny. It almost feels like a focus group for an SNL sketch - one of those 12:30-hour leftovers that air after most viewers have tuned out when things start to get weird and any laughs the show may have gotten earlier have long since died down. It's almost as if these are jokes being tested for another project - unfortunately none of them should have made the final cut. It's a half-hearted shrug of a movie, a barely there and seemingly tossed-off piffle destined to languish in Netflix's never-ending content machine. 

GRADE - ★ (out of four)

UNFROSTED | Directed by Jerry Seinfeld | Stars Jerry Seinfeld, Melissa McCarthy, Jim Gaffigan, Hugh Grant, Amy Schumer, Max Greenfield, Isaac Bae, Chris Rickett, Rachael Harris, Kue Lawrence | Rated PG-13 for some suggestive references and language | Now streaming exclusively on Netflix.


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